Disaster Safety Mason’s Engineering and Building Department shares important tips to remember for disaster safety and mitigation: • Develop a family action plan so you know where to go if an evacuation is called. Review at least two exit routes from your home or neighborhood to a designated meeting place for your family. Plan ahead for your pets; many shelters will not accept them. • Create a disaster supply kit that will allow you to remain in your home after a disaster or for use after evacuating to a safer location. Be sure the necessities in your kit are fresh and restored as necessary. • Stay tuned to radio, TV and NOAA Weather Radio for ofﬁcial updates and critical life-saving weather information. Remember, reception is usually best if placed near a window. • Flooded roads could have signiﬁcant damage hidden by ﬂoodwaters. Never drive through ﬂoodwaters or on ﬂooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a ﬂowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast ﬂowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
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• If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.ﬂash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board up. • Secure lawn furniture and any other loose outdoor items that can become windborne and can cause injury or damage during storms with high winds. Don’t forget trash cans, grills, toys, and potted plants. • Consider building or retroﬁtting to create a tornado safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family. • Use Surge Protective Devices (SPD) in your home to protect electronic appliances from all but the most severe electrical
surges or direct strikes. The devices should be installed to afford the highest level of protection. • In wildﬁre prone areas, remove ﬁne (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse (dead twigs, branches, etc.) fuels within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildﬁre. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International WildlandUrban Interface Code® for detailed requirements. • Before winter sets in, consider freeze-protection for water piping and exterior faucets. Get free advice and learn more about disaster safety for your family and home by visiting the nonproﬁt Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc–Flash® at www.ﬂash.org or www.iccsafe.org consumer safety pages.